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Remote/Rural Living in Hong Kong

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  1. #1

    Remote/Rural Living in Hong Kong

    I have been thinking of moving to a remote/rural area with bigger living space and greenery. Any thoughts on the possible locations or experience from those who have done it recently or have been living outside the city for a while? A few things below:


    • I can possibly get the full time WFH approval from my team. My work doesn't really require me to be in the office, and the last 18 months or so have made it more acceptable. I currently have 3 days in/2 days WFH arrangement, but I tend to go to the office all 5 days.
    • I currently live in the city (noisy area at times) which is one of the reasons for going to the office all 5 days. Get bored living in a small apartment 24*7, and the noise/honking/construction doesn't help.
    • Budget - Haven't really thought about it, but would be nice to keep it within 15,000 per month. This is based on the average rental prices I've seen on the internet (due to the pandemic).
    • Areas - Open to all suggestions. Thought of Hoi Ha, Lamma, Sai Kung interior.


    Factors:
    • No kids, so don't have to think about schools, travel time etc. No offence to people with kids, this is just to clarify on the situation, because schooling/traveling etc. for kids are a huge factor for a lot of families while deciding on the location.
    • Don't have a car/bike, and don't intend to buy one. If there's a minibus to/from the village, that should be fine for me.
    • Travel needs - Not expecting daily commute with this setup. Perhaps a couple of days during the week catching up with friends (mostly mid-week and weekends currently).
    • Groceries - Can do it weekly. I cook myself so tend to eat healthier for the most part.
    • Beach - Be nice to be close to water, although not a must.
    • Garden - Be nice if there's some option for it. Could be rooftop as well. Want to start growing few plants/herbs etc.


    Thanks!
    z754103 likes this.

  2. #2

    Where is your office for the days when you do go in to work? Makes a big difference for any outlying island since all the ferries land in Central.

    z754103 likes this.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MABinPengChau:
    Where is your office for the days when you do go in to work? Makes a big difference for any outlying island since all the ferries land in Central.
    Offices are in Kowloon Bay and Wanchai. If I get the long term WFH approval, I plan either a) not to go to the office unless some team event, IT problem etc. or b) go to the office a few days in a month.

  4. #4

    Ah, OK, then commute to Central is doable but perhaps Sai Kung or NT is better since Kowloon side. For me it comes down to whether there is a great flat available which is what sent me to Peng Chau both times (Sea Crest Villas) garden the first time, 600 square feet about 500 square foot flat 7500 in 2011, then the same flat with roof balcony for 13,000 in 2018. Amazing sea views in both cases. But if no good flat, I would not have gone to Peng Chau but somewhere else like Lamma. Just depends on what is available when you look. Lamma- no Wellcome or Fusion or Park and Shop, Peng Chau has a big Wellcome as does Mui Wo. A sea view was so wonderful and calming and very quiet for our complex as no public area between us and the sea.

    More gweilo now on all outlying islands than when I first did it in 2011 so there are some gweilo amenities everywhere. I can honestly say I got very used to the ferry very quickly, never bothered me. If it would bother you, then maybe Sai Kung is more your style. I had lived walking distance to my Wan Chai (at the time) office when I made the move and didn't bother me (like you, no kids, had grown up and moved out). So it will come down to whether you find a place that you fall in love with...I am still sad that I gave up my place in HK, wish there was some way I could have kept it and split the rent with some coworkers and used it as a place to stay when coming to HK but coworkers were not interested.

    I used 28House found real listings there for outlying islands, I don't think they play the same games as more central areas with flats that aren't real. When I returned to HK I rented my place on Peng Chau sight unseen (in person) and was not disappointed. As I loved where I lived, it made my time in HK (4 years of it on Peng Chau) extremely happy.

    Hope you find your happy place as well...


    Last edited by MABinPengChau; 09-06-2021 at 02:47 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    324

    @MABinPengChau - your apartment sounds gorgeous! No wonder you were sad to leave.
    @fullmetaljacket - we live in a village in Sai Kung (pretty rural). It is gorgeous and quiet and we have seen wild pigs, barking deer, macaque monkeys, amazing birds, and lots of snakes. It’s about 1.5 km walk to the nearest bus stop, though, so highly inconvenient for transport and grocery shopping! Oddly though, we have excellent internet (something that apparently isn’t common in SK villages). I would suggest visiting / calling the agents in Sai Kung. When we were looking the agent/s drove us to each property we looked at, so not an inconvenience to get around and view a few properties in a day.

    I also hope you find your happy place


  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jillypots:
    @MABinPengChau - your apartment sounds gorgeous! No wonder you were sad to leave.
    @fullmetaljacket - we live in a village in Sai Kung (pretty rural). It is gorgeous and quiet and we have seen wild pigs, barking deer, macaque monkeys, amazing birds, and lots of snakes. It’s about 1.5 km walk to the nearest bus stop, though, so highly inconvenient for transport and grocery shopping! Oddly though, we have excellent internet (something that apparently isn’t common in SK villages). I would suggest visiting / calling the agents in Sai Kung. When we were looking the agent/s drove us to each property we looked at, so not an inconvenience to get around and view a few properties in a day.

    I also hope you find your happy place
    Exactly this! Sai Kung and its surrounding villages are going to be a love or hate for you. My only tip apart from the excellent comments here are start with two to three agents and tell each agent EXACTLY what you are looking for and if the agent totally ignores it and takes you to any available property cross that agent off the list.

    Affirmative on the wildlife list and I actually saw a snake earlier this week in our village. You also have the Sai Kung cattle which I saw for the first time this year earlier this week as well (though only 3 of them I think the 4th died).

    I love the area and if you live here you learn when to travel and when to wait!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Island East
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    Area: Mang Kung Uk
    Village Name: Heng Mei Deng
    Clear Water Bay

    I lived in the above place for nearly 12 years, absolutely brilliant as I had a large garden and it was great for my big dogs to run around, hold massive piss up BBQ and piss of the neighbour's with all night party (once or twice a year only though) but still it was fun.

    700 sqft village house (3 bedroom) and I was paying below market price as my lease was not stamped (11K a month).

    5 Min walk from my village to the main road to take the green minibus to Hang Hau (10 min ride). Can call green taxi operator to order taxi (5$ order fee).

    Recommend: Go to Tai Po Tsai as there are a some agents there and ask them to show you villages in clear water bay, closer to main road and not a long walk up or you will die during the summer lol


  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    I'm also a 10 minute walk to the main road for buses apart from the mornings where they run a shuttle up into town until around 1030am.

    One other thing I just remembered. The further you are away from town, whether that is Sai Kung or Clearwater Bay, the harder it can be to get a bus at peak times (I used to live in Ha Yeung Village Clearwater Bay and I sometimes have the same problem where I am living now). Often I will walk or get a bus into Sai Kung and pick one up from the terminus. In the daytime and evenings really not a problem

    And I know someone that lives in the same Peng Chau complex as recently posted by MaBinPengChau Delightful place

    Last edited by ByeByeEngland; 09-06-2021 at 05:40 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    Not too familiar with Sai Kung except for hiking & visiting friends. I agree it may be a love or hate situation, as with the islands in fact, so it's best you spend some time at both and see for yourself. I love the vast rural landmass of SK, with all its quaint villages and excellent hiking options: but that depends if you're into hiking. Water there definitely cleaner than Lantau, and within SK you have a lot more options.

    I'm less a fan of Sai Kung town, especially on the weekends, and the thought of trying to escape on public transport via two entry/exit routes only makes me shudder. Lantau (Cheung Sha and beyond) can be much the same these days, if relying on the #11 bus... it's getting there, but not quite as bad. Yet.

    Hoi Ha sounds great. I'd totally live there... with a car, and you get access to the entire closed area beyond Pak Tam Chung. Without a car, you're relying on either minibus or bus... definitely not convenient. I suppose going to Kowloon Bay makes it marginally better than Central; to that end a 25-30 minute fast ferry from any of Lamma, Mui Wo, Peng Chau still sounds like a superior option to me from a convenience viewpoint.

    I'm not familiar with Lamma / Peng Chau real estate situation, but for Lantau we have our own non-chain agencies here, most with an online presence:

    Proper Trip Real Estate
    Findley Leung Group Limited
    Four Seasons Property (Lantau) Limited
    https://homesolutions.hk

    ... to name a few.

    If you really want good value for money (space wise) and don't mind being in the middle of nowhere, dare I even mention the Sea Ranch. To be honest it's probably no less convenient than Hoi Ha.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    After a typhoon internet might be down for a day or two , then only option is cellular Network

    rainylin likes this.

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